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"n***a"/"n****r" help me understand this - Page 4

post #61 of 78

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post


Quote:


but i dont want to discuss the word. i want to understand the people who are using the term (teenagers mostly yes, but not all). what and why are THEY using it. race gives the term its definition

 

i am not talking about you or me or how the general word is seen. there IS nothing positive about that term to you or me. i want to know why the kids are using it (and some adults too). to the kids its a term of solidarity. THAT is what i was trying to understand. to them n***A is a term of solidarity and IS positive yet n****R is a derogatory term they would never use except to insult one of them. 

 


Have you ever read Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Affair with the N-word by H. Lewis Smith?  There is not a solidarity between n***A verses n****R.  He states changing letters do not change meaning.  If it did why are other races not allowed to say n****A?  NAACP also condems both terms. 

 

 

One problem is taking one persons view is applying it to the whole group and assume the though it static and unchanging.  Richard Pryor use to use the term liberally, however in his later years he states it is wrong, reduces usage, and change how he used n***A/*R.  People indivdually and as a whole evolve.

 

Chimamanda Adichie, is a Nigerian writer.  She gave a speech titled "Dangers of a Single Story." http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html  I believe with the term n***a/n****r debate we need to remember there is more than One story and One point of view and that ONE cannot speak from all.  

 

I am white and I am against the use of either term. It is disparaging even if the person saying it doesn't agree.  If all other groups cannot say it because it is a derogatory remark and part of the group you are in doesn't want it said, then it is most best left unsaid to be respectful not to other groups but to the people in your own group.  

post #62 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

One problem is taking one persons view is applying it to the whole group and assume the though it static and unchanging.  Richard Pryor use to use the term liberally, however in his later years he states it is wrong, reduces usage, and change how he used n***A/*R.  People indivdually and as a whole evolve.

 

Chimamanda Adichie, is a Nigerian writer.  She gave a speech titled "Dangers of a Single Story." http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html  I believe with the term n***a/n****r debate we need to remember there is more than One story and One point of view and that ONE cannot speak from all.  

yes it IS one group. a group of about 40 students in my school. like i said before it might be limited to my city too. this was a group discussion even in the cafetaria. not one girl talking but a proper discussion. and yes the group was divided on certain aspects of it but they all agreed **A was a term they all used. and i have watched the use of this term all over the city because i use public transportation. and i have also heard the term in music. 

 

the point i was trying to get at was understanding those person's views who DO use the term. not the rest who dont. 

 

this is the reason why i said i dont want to debate this term. there IS no debate. 

 

yes there IS more than one point of view but i am trying to understand that "ONE' specific point of view which is used quite freely in my city mostly amongst teens but also many adults. and i am realizing that since no one on this board uses the n***A term i am not going to find that understanding here. which is why i wanted to know from the horses mouth.

 

and yes thank you to all who have posted links - i have learnt a lot. marsupial mom i have not read that book. our library has it so i will check it out. 

 

i wish there was a book titled 'why i use the word n***A and why it is a totally different word than n***er to me". 

post #63 of 78

I think you have to accept that its usage even is dived in the community that uses it.  

 

IMO, I think some younger people use the words to be "cool" verses reclaiming the word.  Just like they anyone in that young teen/twenties group will use a lot of slang to be "cool".  At that age, they might have never analized their usage - it is just something they do.  

 

I think this is "being young" and still developing identity and trying to fit in.

 

Think about this: if the word was the term "hoodie" verses a hooded sweat shirt (hoodie is the modern term).  Most people will say, "I don't know or that is what they are called."  Younger people may not have been exposed to the older term.  The older accepted the new term, not knowing the marketing term or other histories such as Middle Ages monks also wore hoodies, or hip hop connection.  Many people in the US are unaware of the Hoodie's issue in the UK. 

  

post #64 of 78

The main thing apparent here, meemee, is that you'll never get it because you have an attitude that displays complete refusal to let go of what's going on in your own mind enough to grasp what other people here are trying to say to you.  In your mind you already have it figured out.  In your mind, you think that there are completely seperate aspects of how people use this word and one of those completely lack racial implications altogether.  You've shown yourself completely unwilling to let go of that idea and grasp other mindsets.  Why you came here asking the question from "horse's mouths" I'll never know, because you're not willing to listen to what "horse's mouths" are trying to tell you. You're more content to take the words of children you've talked to (yes children) and completely disregard the words of grown adults who have actually been those children in the near past.

 

I am 30 years old.  I was one of those kids at one point who very occassionally used that word. It was not frowned upon, depending on how it was used.  My dad even occassionally uses the word in marginally negative way when he's upset with some one, depending on what that person did and the mindset that person was in and motivations behind it.   It is very rare that he uses it. No one here looks down completely upon the use of the word DEPENDING ON THE RACE OF THE ONE USING IT.

 

Since i've grown up some and learned differently, I don't use the word anymore.  You are actually talking to the adult form of the "horses' mouths'" that you've already spoken to. I was that young girl who defended you once.  I probably would have even been stupid enough to defend you if you came and came and confronted us the way you did, not knowing any better, and I probably would have looked back and thought to myself and ask the friends that were with me "Remember that time that silly lady that came and talked to us about the n word when we were kids? Can you believe I stood up for her? I was such a pushover back then.  We should have cussed her out and sent her on her way." 

 

Frankly what it seems like is you taking advantage of young kids who were in a setting in which they knew they would have gotten into trouble for telling an adult what they "really" wanted to say, some of which (such as the young girl) were not of the age where they could fully grasp the understanding of your questions the way a seasoned adult could enough to fully give you the answers you are looking for,  and you seized that opportunity to put them on the spot.  Things that you asked here I could have never answered at that age, and only recently *got* in the last couple years.  Such as simple questions people ask, they are in essence ascing you to sum up an entire 2 or 3 centuries worth of history in a single sentence for them.  History that, as a teenager, I wasn't even fully aware of yet.  Such as the whole meaning and changing inflections behind the N word.  That's a complicated question.  One that will raise hackles for some, and you took advantage of these teenagers to stroke your own curiosity knowing that it would be crushed to smithereens by an adult.

 

i've given you good information here admist my objections to this thread.  Others have as well. You've dismissed everything everyone here has had to say.  At this point, i'm not sure what you're looking for ,and honestly, I"m not sure you are either.


Edited by gabysmom617 - 4/9/11 at 10:15am
post #65 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post

The main thing apparent here, meemee, is that you'll never get it because you have an attitude that displays complete refusal to let go of what's going on in your own mind enough to grasp what other people here are trying to say to you.  In your mind you already have it figured out.  In your mind, you think that there are completely seperate aspects of how people use this word and one of those completely lack racial implications altogether.  You've shown yourself completely unwilling to let go of that idea and grasp other mindsets.  Why you came here asking the question from "horse's mouths" I'll never know, because you're not willing to listen to what "horse's mouths" are trying to tell you. You're more content to take the words of children you've talked to (yes children) and completely disregard the words of grown adults who have actually been those children in the near past.

 

I am 30 years old.  I was one of those kids at one point who very occassionally used that word. It was not frowned upon, depending on how it was used.  My dad even occassionally uses the word in marginally negative way when he's upset with some one, depending on what that person did and the mindset that person was in and motivations behind it.   It is very rare that he uses it. No one here looks down completely upon the use of the word DEPENDING ON THE RACE OF THE ONE USING IT.

 

Since i've grown up some and learned differently, I don't use the word anymore.  You are actually talking to the adult form of the "horses' mouths'" that you've already spoken to. I was that young girl who defended you once.  I probably would have even been stupid enough to defend you if you came and came and confronted us the way you did, not knowing any better, and I probably would have looked back and thought to myself and ask the friends that were with me "Remember that time that silly lady that came and talked to us about the n word when we were kids? Can you believe I stood up for her? I was such a pushover back then.  We should have cussed her out and sent her on her way." 

 

Frankly what it seems like is you taking advantage of young kids who were in a setting in which they knew they would have gotten into trouble for telling an adult what they "really" wanted to say, some of which (such as the young girl) were not of the age where they could fully grasp the understanding of your questions the way a seasoned adult could enough to fully give you the answers you are looking for,  and you seized that opportunity to put them on the spot.  Things that you asked here I could have never answered at that age, and only recently *got* in the last couple years.  Such as simple questions people ask, they are in essence ascing you to sum up an entire 2 or 3 centuries worth of history in a single sentence for them.  History that, as a teenager, I wasn't even fully aware of yet.  Such as the whole meaning and changing inflections behind the N word.  That's a complicated question.  One that will raise hackles for some, and you took advantage of these teenagers to stroke your own curiosity knowing that it would be crushed to smithereens by an adult.

 

i've given you good information here admist my objections to this thread.  Others have as well. You've dismissed everything everyone here has had to say.  At this point, i'm not sure what you're looking for ,and honestly, I"m not sure you are either.




clap.gifand bow2.gif

 

meemee, i highly recommend reading this post two or three times.

post #66 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

Meemee, I respectfully ask this---were you raised in the United States?

I think OP mentioned a few posts back that she is an immigrant, ostensibly to the US.
post #67 of 78



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post


 

Right, I figured you meant what you wrote. Since I disagree with the assertion that it only matters if a person of another race flinches, could you please explain it further?

 

I mean, if a Japanese person in Japan is talking to another Japanese person and uses a term for Korean residents of Japan(minority ethnic group in Japan who don't experience fair treatment in employment, are ostracized at school because of their race, people who have one Korean ancestor are often viewed as Korean and treated accordingly, there's a feeling that the "good" Koreans are the ones who have assimilated the most and seem the most Japanese, can't get citizenship without changing their names--you know the kind of thing) it's just as problematic a term if another Japanese person would be shocked as if anyone else would have an issue.

 

Personally, I think it should be up to the Koreans in my example whether the term is something that other races can use to refer to them, but if any other race gets a vote, all other races should get one--even the majority.

 

 


 

i'm not exactly sure what you're asking here.

 

i was saying that if two white people are argueing and one calls the other the n word and no nonwhite person recognize it as a personal insult to themselves  (as the term was originally used) then we could safely say the term has positively taken on at least one meaning completely lacking of any racism at all. That day hasn't come yet.  I think you're taking my example too deeply and a little personally.   I specified nonwhite because back in the day when the n word was commonly used, nonwhites were usually towards whom the insult was directed at.  In this situation, yes i think the vote of those for whom the term usually was meant to insult gets more impact as to whether or not the word is still deemed as offensive, at least in it's original way.

 

 


Edited by gabysmom617 - 4/9/11 at 12:56pm
post #68 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post



 


 

i'm not exactly sure what you're asking here.

 

i was saying that if two white people are argueing and one calls the other the n word and no nonwhite person recognize it as a personal insult to themselves  (as the term was originally used) then we could safely say the term has positively taken on at least one meaning completely lacking of any racism at all. That day hasn't come yet.  I think you're taking my example too deeply and a little personally.   I specified nonwhite because back in the day when the n word was commonly used, nonwhites were usually towards whom the insult was directed at.  In this situation, yes i think the vote of those for whom the term usually was meant to insult gets more impact as to whether or not the word is still deemed as offensive.

 

 


Ah.... okay. You mean that a term is not okay to use within a racial group if it's an insult to another racial group.  That I agree with 100%. For one thing, using the term as an insult really emphasizes the other group as something negative to be.

 

The "flinching" thing confused me a lot because I interpreted that as having a negative reaction to hearing the word used, not as a sign that the hypothetical person of the other race viewed the term as an insult for their own race. I was thinking that you meant that even if, say, all black people magically were okay with n*****, it would still be a problem if some people of other races thought it was still an insult to black people.

 

(Eta: Has the n-word ever been used about any group other than blacks?)


Edited by sapphire_chan - 4/9/11 at 6:03pm
post #69 of 78

This thread makes me think of:

 

http://damaliayo.com/book%20promos/pages/How%20to%20Rent.htm

 

 

 

post #70 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 


Girlfriend i AM. this is my scientific experiment. out in the field asking questions. except since i am not conducting this through a university so i cant directly ask those using it what they think so that's why i am asking you people.

 

 

I'm going to gently suggest that you investigate and contemplate things like ethical standards and responsibility to scholarship, science and your "subjects."

 

If you want to know more about this stuff, you are primarily responsible for seeking and acquiring information with the least bother and/or harm to others.   When I was studying in university 20 years ago, I read, read, read.  Try Bell Hooks and others, try reading about ethnic/race relations broadly, disenfranchised populations, feminism.  Great minds have put huge energy into these topics - the information exists in libraries and online.  My guess is that the variables at play with today's youth using this language are largely the same as the variables at play within the generations before.

 

gabysmom and others have provided great insight and links, if you want to hear.

post #71 of 78

Some of the exchanges in this thread remind me of this: http://derailingfordummies.com/

 

That page is an extreme version, but as a white person who wants to be an ally, trying to learn and educate myself, I have found that site to be really useful in checking my own gut-level defensiveness (ie, anytime I hear myself think "BUT..." in a charged conversation about race/privilege).

post #72 of 78

 

Quote:

Some of the exchanges in this thread remind me of this: http://derailingfordummies.com/

 

That page is an extreme version, but as a white person who wants to be an ally, trying to learn and educate myself, I have found that site to be really useful in checking my own gut-level defensiveness (ie, anytime I hear myself think "BUT..." in a charged conversation about race/privilege).

It's a pity that page reiterates the "male circumcision just removes a tiny flap of skin and is in no way comparable to FGM" guff, though.

post #73 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milletpuff View Post

Some of the exchanges in this thread remind me of this: http://derailingfordummies.com/

 

That page is an extreme version, but as a white person who wants to be an ally, trying to learn and educate myself, I have found that site to be really useful in checking my own gut-level defensiveness (ie, anytime I hear myself think "BUT..." in a charged conversation about race/privilege).

aaaaaah thank you mama. i needed this to figure out what i am not getting. lots of food for thought. there are many underlayers i was not getting mainly coz the group from the cafeteria and i have become friends. it seems to have cut the ice and we help each other out with homework. 

 

this is the tip of the iceberg though. i have more to figure out. sadly at this time i miss my xfil because his specialty as a proff. was race relations. 
 

 

post #74 of 78

My DP is half Mexican and half Costa Rican. He uses the n word on the phone with his old friends back home. None of them find it offensive. I personally consider it street talk. I have been to his hometown, Dallas, and it's pretty common with the street-running crowd. I've lived in NY and Pennsylvania and Georgia and had pretty much the same experience (although there is definitely more racial weight put on it in GA)There is definitely some racism attached to it with some Latinos, but in my experience the n word has taken on social/class meanings just as much as racial ones. I know plenty of white, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Filipino, biracial, Mexican, etc individuals who use that term within their crowd and it is acceptable.

 

It can also be derogatory. Chris Rock said on one of his shows once, "I love black people, but I hate n----as!" In that case the n word signifies a black person with no class...this having nothing to do with money but rather with how they live their life (never has a job, keeps a nasty house, always beating the kids, etc)

 

It's not appropriate in the home (and neither are constant streams of curse words, imo). I don't want that word being flung around nonchalantly. But I certainly have used it in the past, mainly in a derogatory sense when some ignorant black person pissed me off, and I will not apologize for that. It's really my business.

post #75 of 78

meemee i think you were fine. <3 someone said you were showing your *whiteness*. which is ?huh, or just an ironic statement?

 

we are at a point in time ~  that i just tell my white friends to shut up for a few years /another generation ~ and at the same time, tell the people with heritages (that would like other certain heritages to stfu) ~  to chill out for a few years also. 

we are all still sharp and prickly about topics at the moment. (with reasonable emotion)

so the innocent's of the world get in the crossfire. 

 

in general lets say the children are our future...   i dont agree with the "reclaiming and power" stuff,  but the rest is accurate for sure. "depends on who says it"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

I am only 23 so it started around my generation. It is like a reclaiming of the word, like it takes the power away from it b/c it is used so often. Where I am from it depends on who says it. Any and all black, latino, and hispanic people can say it. As well as anyone who is half of any of those cultures. (I have no idea why latin and hispanics can say it) Some "ghetto" white people can say it with acceptance too (again IDK why). I personally dislike the use of it.



 

post #76 of 78
Thread Starter 

ah thank you Four&Me. yeah the reaction here is much different than the reaction i have faced IRL with others. but that is understandable. like i remember posting about the Immigrant Crossing Road Signs in S. California on this board. everyone who replied to the thread did not have a problem with it. but IRL i get the opposite reaction not only from chicanos and latinas but others too. of course i live in California. 

 

it is interesting about this one hispanic friend. her dad's heritage is from spain and her mom's indigenous. all her 3 sisters are dark skinned, but she is white skinned. her sisters are allowed to use the nA word around their friends but my white skinned latina friend is not. 

post #77 of 78

I suggest you watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MnmmDiQSdA . It is author and anti-racist activist Tim Wise's breakdown on this very subject. 

post #78 of 78

Draupadi thanks for posting Tim Wise. 

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